Raleigh, NC – Clemson’s PJ Hall likes playing NC State. The sophomore from Spartanburg, SC followed up his breakout game from last season against the Wolfpack with a 20-point, 5 rebounds, and 4 block stat-padding performance leading the charge to a 70-65 ACC victory over the NC State Wolfpack.
Clemson finished with 44 points inside the paint, leading to 49% shooting effort, while NC State struggled shooting all around going just 19-60 from the floor with 9 of those 19 field goals coming from beyond the arc.
NC State (8-8, 1-4 ACC) started the game hot from the outside with three-point shots from Thomas Allen, Dereon Seabron and Cole Hellems – putting the Wolfpack ahead early 9-0. Clemson (10-5, 1-3 ACC) answered with the next six points to cut the NC State lead to three with 14:16 left in the opening half. Neither team got much going on offense during the next stretch of play as the Wolfpack held a slim 10-8 lead at the following media timeout.
A 5-0 run from Clemson sliced the NC State lead to 14-13 with 8:25 remaining before halftime. The Tiger run continued as Clemson pulled ahead 22-16 with 6:06 left, forcing a NC State timeout. The Tigers’ lead grew to eight points before five straight points from Allen trimmed the Clemson lead to 28-25 – forcing a timeout from Brad Brownell with 1:06 left before the break. Both teams traded baskets before the half with State’s Cam Hayes beating the buzzer with a three, making the score 30-28 in favor of the Tigers at halftime.
The Wolfpack jumped out to an early 33-30 lead to start the half before Clemson retook the lead 38-33 with just over 15 minutes left in regulation. NC State tied the game at 38 with a three-pointer from Hellems before Clemson pulled back in front 44-40 with just over 12 minutes to go. Hayes scored four straight to tie the game at 49-49 with 9:00 left in the contest. Clemson went on a stretch making nine straight field goals to go ahead 60-53 with 4:56 on the clock.
Neither team scored between the next break, with the score remaining 60-53 in favor of the Tigers at the final media timeout. Both teams traded baskets afterward, making the score 64-57 with 2:18 remaining. Clemson added a pair at the line followed by Seabron splitting a pair with 31.3 left, making the score 66-60. Seabron scored inside, followed by a deep three from Casey Morsell. Clemson iced the game at the line with four straight made free throws to escape Raleigh with the 70-65 ACC win.
Seabron led all scorers with 27 points, along with seven rebounds. Allen would be the only other Wolfpack player to score in double figures with 10 points. Al-Amir Dawes followed Hall’s performance for the Tigers adding 16 points.
NC State returns to action Wednesday, January 12 as they travel to Louisville for a rematch of the first ACC matchup of the season. Tipoff is scheduled for 9 p.m. inside the YUM Center.
Clemson heads to Notre Dame on Wednesday. Tipoff is slated for 7 p.m. from South Bend.